A former senior health official has called the Netherlands’ coronavirus vaccination strategy “embarrassing,” as the nation waits until Jan. 8 to begin administering shots while other nations in Europe and elsewhere already have started vaccinations.

Roel Coutinho, a respected former director of the Center for Infectious Disease Control at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, told Dutch current affairs show Nieuwsuur on Monday night: “Every week counts.”

Delaying the start of the vaccination program means that “the overburdening of healthcare will continue for a long time. That means it has an effect not only for people who have COVID, but also for others, because they cannot be admitted or operations have to be postponed.”